Israeli army mounts strikes on Gaza, five killed

By Xinhua

Gaza : The number of Palestinians killed in Israeli military strikes on the Gaza Strip early Wednesday rose to five, with six others wounded, eyewitnesses and hospital officials reported.

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Moa'weya Hassanein, chief of emergency at Gaza's Shiffa Hospital, told reporters here that five Palestinians were killed and six injured in three separate Israeli strikes on central and southern Gaza Strip.

Earlier reports said two Palestinians were killed and three critically wounded Wednesday morning.

Eyewitnesses reported that two Palestinian militants were killed and three civilians were injured as an Israeli artillery shell hit a house in the Sheja'eya neighbourhood of eastern Gaza City.

A third Palestinian militant, member of the Islamic Jihad armed wing, was killed by an air-to-ground missile fired by an Israeli aircraft while he was driving his car in Gaza City.

Hassanein also confirmed that Shiffa Hospital received three bodies and three people wounded in two separate Israeli army attacks.

Meanwhile, two more Palestinians – one of them an Islamic Jihad militant – were killed in an exchange of fire with an Israeli army detachment that entered the village of Khuza'a, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Eyewitnesses said that the militant blew himself up accidentally as a bomb he was carrying detonated before he could throw it at the soldiers in the village. Three other militants were injured in the exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers in the area.

The Israeli action is the toughest since the Hamas movement took control of President Mahmoud Abbas's security headquarters – including his home and office – in the Gaza Strip nearly two weeks ago.